Pediatric Urology| Volume 156, P231-237, October 2021

Pediatric Urology and International Medical Volunteerism: Where Are We? Where Are We Going?



      To determine the current landscape of international medical volunteerism (IMV) in pediatric urology.


      A questionnaire regarding IMV participation was distributed to Societies for Pediatric Urology members (SPU), pediatric urology fellows (PUFs), and pediatric urology fellowship program directors (PDs). Questions related to IMV interest, experience, and perceived barriers, as well as the importance of trainee participation.


      98 of 733 SPU members queried responded; 62/98 (63%) having volunteered. There was no difference in gender, age, or years in practice between volunteers and non-volunteers (P >.05). Non-volunteers were generally interested in participating (26/36; 72%), with lack of time and knowledge of opportunities cited as limitations. 27/46 PUFs and 16/27 PDs submitted responses. 10/27 (37%) of PUFs have participated in IMV. The main perceived barrier to their participation was lack of protected time off. While 2 PUFs (7%) stated IMV was a mandatory component of fellowship, 11/27 (41%) of PUFs vs 2/16 (13%) of PDs believe IMV should be part of the curriculum (P = .11). PUFs and PDs similarly ranked importance of trainee IMV participation on Likert scale (median 73 vs 70, P = 0.67). Volunteering SPU respondents ranked trainee participation higher than non-volunteers (median 80 vs 50, P = 0.0004).


      While pediatric urology IMV opportunities exist, disseminating this information to interested parties and lack of time are barriers to participation. Amongst SPU members, there is a divide in attitudes regarding the importance of trainee participation. Trainees, however, strongly support IMV participation.
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